This message by Paul brings me much comfort, for it shows that he also dealt with the strong opposition of his faith in the Risen Christ, and that he had to consider the possibility that he was wrong. Even though he had personally seen Jesus after His resurrection. Despite all the signs and wonders that followed him. Despite his strong personal relationship and mandate to preach Christ in foreign lands, he was forced to consider: “What if Jesus did not arise from the dead?” As a formerly devout Jew, this question must have tore at his heart and conscience.
This question, like his message shows us, is pinnacle to our faith. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then He was not the Christ! If He didn’t rise from the dead, then He was a false prophet altogether. If He didn’t rise from the dead, then our faith is a joke. We have no hope. We may as well go about doing exactly what we want to do, while we still can, before our number comes up!
We may also have to consider the idea that we have been misled and have been very gullible. What does that say about us? How is it that we have wasted our whole lives believing in a lie, teaching a lie and worshiping a false god? We also face the accusation from the Jews who stand on their revelation of God and accuse us of idolatry in our claim that Jesus is the revelation of God. If Jesus is not risen, but God is real, then we are in danger of the Fire!
But glory be to God, we can be assured that the testimony we have received is true! These men who testified, lived in the time of Jesus, walked with Jesus, saw His scars, had personal revelations that He was indeed risen and sitting at the right hand of God and were so convinced, they were persecuted and martyred for their firm belief! Not only that, they cared so much for one another and for us that they wrote… and they wrote… and they wrote, accounts and letters to tell us of all that they witnessed and what Jesus said while He walked among them and to teach us about our most holy faith.
Aside from their witness, the Holy Spirit is our witness, who has come to make His abode in our hearts. Who reveals the scriptures to us, as He did to them. Who continues to teach us about love, humility, wisdom, grace and truth. Who reveals Himself to us and inspires us as we seek to be His witnesses and ministers in this present age.
Our faith was not passed on to us like Chinese whispers, so that it is completely distorted from the real and true message. Thanks to the canonization of our Holy Scriptures, the message has stood the test of time, despite many attacks on our faith and our people. The message of grace and truth is the same today as it was when Peter and Paul received it. Our Bible is as relevant today as it was when it was first compiled, shedding light on issues of life and confirming the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
We have hope. We are not to be pitied. We have found the Pearl of great price and we would be foolish to discard of it, because some unscrupulous people doubt Its value and seek to deny us of It, and the peace and joy that comes from Him. We must stand firm, believing as those who passed the faith to us did, grounded on the Truth, so that we are not shaken by doubt.
And the Lord who started this good work in you will keep you and complete it until the day of Jesus Christ! (Phil 1:6). Amen.
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